A leading Iraqi Sunni Muslim political party has withdrawn from the interim Iraqi government, protesting the U.S. - led military assault on the insurgent-held city of Fallujah.

Head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, Mohsen Abdul Hamid, who is also a member of the country's provisional National Assembly, says the attack on Fallujah is harming innocent civilians.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, impact the withdrawal would have on the country's interim government led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

Monday, Mr. Allawi announced that he authorized U.S. and Iraqi forces to rid Fallujah of "terrorists" and vowed that the rule of law would be restored in the city.

 Some of this information provided by Reuters and AP.